Life on the other side: What two NUS BBA students learned from Silicon Valley

Two NUS BBA students, Lee Tze Yuan and Cheung Ho Yeung, were chosen among the 600 hopefuls who applied for a full-year internship programme with NUS Overseas College in Silicon Valley in USA.

How was life on the other side? How did this experience change them? What are their key learnings? Here’s what they shared: Continue reading

A Millennial Making His Mark

A recent survey by BNP Paribas on Global Entrepreneurs revealed that the millennial generation – those born between 1980 and 1995 – are creating more companies in traditional sectors and the new economy. On average, they launch about 8 companies throughout their careers, compared to 3.5 by the older generation. This sudden and strong emergence of a new generation of entrepreneurs under 35 have been dubbed “The Millennipreneurs.”

One of our very own – NUS BBA (Honours) alumnus Jian Liang Low – is a true blue “Millennipreneur”. Since the age of 5, he has been pursuing his passion for entrepreneurship and in his quest, travelled the world breathing in different cultures and personalities. By the age of 19, he has interned in start-ups, founded a few of his own, worked in a venture capital firm, spoke at international conferences and won international competitions – his experiences span across USA, Israel, China and Asia. Perhaps this is why his latest venture Trabble, a personalised, chat-based Concierge service, caters to global travellers who are looking for quick and efficient travel services.

NUS BBA (Honours) alumnus Jian Liang Low, who is passionate about nurturing entrepreneurs

NUS BBA (Honours) alumnus Jian Liang Low, who is passionate about nurturing entrepreneurs

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Another type of NUS Orientation – by the Enablers

There is another type of Orientation in NUS. A kind, gentle, compassionate one.  Those who organise it call themselves the NUS Enablers.

E-colourise 2Orientation 2016 Project Director, Ruth Lee, FASS Year 1 going 2, says:

There is a need for a special Orientation for student with special needs (SSNs) for various reasons. I bet few of us students have considered that some SSNs cannot participate fully in the general Orientation activities. For example, students with limited mobility will find the hilly NUS campus inaccessible on wheelchair, or cannot join in the running or contact games. Students with visual or hearing impairment may lack peer support and guidance in camps. Students with autism may be unaccustomed to the intense socialising that freshmen camps require. Yet at the end of the day they are still students like you and me. They might even have undergone greater challenges to matriculate into NUS, and are really worthy of respect and awe. These SSNs are freshmen deserving of a proper orientation and senior guidance.

E-colouriseNow in its second year, the campus-wide Orientation programme for SSNs initiated by the Enablers is possibly the first of its kind among tertiary institutions in Singapore.

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Ong Hua Han was deciding between NUS Business School and another university which was nearer home and most importantly, on flatter ground.  Even his family doctor discouraged him from NUS because it would be hard for him to move around its hilly terrain. He was born with a condition called brittle bone disease (Osteogenesis Imperfecta), and moves around mostly on a wheelchair.

H GradThen the BBA office reached out to the family. Its staff invited Hua Han and his parents to the school. Over a cosy tea session, they talked about the challenges and possibilities of NUS – accessibility, safety, health; and how the office could assist him if he joined the school. Then – and his mother fondly remembers – the Assistant Dean, Dr Helen Chai, personally took them on a walk around the school, showing him the routes that were wheelchair-accessible – in her high heels!

He remembers that there was a drop step near the bus-stop he would not be able to negotiate with his wheelchair. BBA Office connected with the now Office of Campus Amenities (then called Office of Estate and Development), and a ramp for wheelchair access was built. The office also, when needed, helped schedule his lessons so they did not run back to back and thus he had time to get to each class on time.

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Revelation – Transformation – Activation!

A paradigm shift is by definition a fundamental change in one’s belief system. The Paradigm Shift Series (PSS) is, in the words of its organisers, “a series of curated sessions that aim to redefine mindsets and challenge people to live out purpose-driven lives.”

The whole idea came about when a group of senior BBA students noticed that many of their peers, and in particular Bizaders, were stressed about getting ahead in life and their future careers. The group set out to pilot a series of talks to share fresh and liberating perspectives on issues pertinent to undergraduates: networking, success and career. Hence the idea for this series of inspirational talks was born, with a starting line-up of five speakers:

PSS_Speaker LineupOrganised by a group of students for students – the PSS team of nine was helmed by Pang Jun Xiang, BBA Accountancy Y3 and Koshae Tan, double degree BBA and BA Y3, with the support of two NUS alumni Lu Jianhao and Joshua Teo.

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Learning beyond the classroom via field projects

Real learning starts when students apply what they have learnt in school to serve the community.

Field Service Projects (FSP) provide such an opportunity – for students to work with an established organization. They get to learn directly from the organisation’s management while engaging in real-world business issues. It is also an excellent networking platform for students as they prepare to enter the real world when they graduate.

Most importantly, FSPs challenge students to deliver as they must ensure that their recommendations can be executed, and is not merely a paper exercise.

When Khoo Teck Puat – National University Children’s Medical Institute (NUHkids), wanted to determine the level of awareness of paediatric services offered by NUHkids, as well as to study the intended behaviour of parents when their children fall ill, they roped in a team of Business School undergraduates.

This group of students – Bryan Wang, Joshia Kwa, Shirlynn Oh and Eunice Tan –were also tasked with proposing strategies on how NUHkids could reach out and build greater awareness amongst the target audience.

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Clockwise from bottom left: Shirlynn, Bryan, Eunice and Josiah enjoying their experience with their supervisor, Assoc Prof Ang Swee Hoon of Marketing.

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Bringing the Classroom Outside In

Classes where professors hold court and engage in one-way information flow is becoming passe. Today, progressive education engage in “experiential learning”.

RS4665_Dr Lau Geok Theng 01Assoc Prof Lau Geok Theng of Marketing says students should participate more actively in such programmes: “Employers are now looking at work experience in resumes, not just academic results. The internship or the new start-up that a student helps to pioneer will demonstrate the skills honed during these stints, and indicate how well he will perform in real-life challenging environments.”

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More than up to the Challenge

Congratulations to our undergraduates who won the CFA Institute Research Challenge Singapore Round 2016. They defeated teams from SMU, NTU, SIM University, SIM Global, SIT and Yale-NUS.

20160130_135306The team comprising, (from left to right) Toh Zhen Zhou, Yeo Sui Chuan, Sarah Long, Lim Wei Quan Jenson and Wang Wei Long Bryan, also clinched the Best Research Report Award.

Held annually since 2007, the competition is organised by CFA Institute, a global association of finance professionals. Our school has been dominating the Research Challenge Singapore Round. With this year’s title, we have won a record five times, two more than our nearest challenger, SMU.

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Carrying Deloitte’s flag on campus

Student ambassador programmes by organisations help develop students’ technical and soft skills. One such initiative is the Deloitte Student Ambassador Program.

Launched in 2014, the Program was introduced to recognise talented new staff. Its Student Ambassadors are those who have accepted priority offers to join the firm upon graduation and have excelled in their studies, co-curricular activities or their internships with the firm.

The 2015 edition of the Program saw Low Zhan Hao Pierre, BAC Year 3 and Ngui Jia Yi, BAC Year 2 joining Deloitte as the firm’s Student Ambassadors. Continue reading

NUS Team wins Australian Undergraduate Business Case Competition

The NUS Team, comprising Eleanor Low, Eugenia Lee, Nigel Toe and Shaun Chong, wowed the judges with their thorough analyses and polished presentations to emerge champions at the end of a gruelling week of challenges.

The Australian Undergraduate Business Case Competition is a joint initiative by the Queensland University of Technology Business School, the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Australia Business School and the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Business and Economics.

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